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I have a ubuntu server that I suspect failed due to overheating. I'm doing a post-mortem and I'm not exactly sure what to look for to confirm my hunch.

Any thoughts on what logged information would indicate a failure from overheating?

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Kernel panic?!? –  mailq Oct 11 '11 at 19:39

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If you did not have sensord from the lm-sensors package running, you probably would never know for sure. Maybe you could try looking at side-channel data like SMART attribute logging done by smartd (smartmontools) - it logs attribute changes to syslog and may contain disk temperature - which in turn would allow an educated guess about the system's temperature.

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I did not have sensord running (I do now, thanks) Is there anything else that would show up in the syslog that might indicate a temp problem? –  Matt Sweeney Oct 12 '11 at 0:23
    
The lack of shutdown logs would be a good indication too. –  polynomial Oct 12 '11 at 1:06

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